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Forums » General & Multi-Country » Central Asia "The Stans"

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kkrslc

Central Asia "The Stans"

by kkrslc »

Central Asia is very safe to travel in, in part because "The Stans" (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) are primarily totalitarian countries and crime is simply not permitted.  They are each very different from the other and yet share similar histories.  For those who want to truly experience the countries, which one really can't do without guides who know the cultures and languages, I can recommend salomtravel@inbox.ru.  I found them on the web and wasn't quite sure what to expect but chanced it anyway and was incredibly happy I did.  Kahramon and his wife, Kamola, were absolutely fabulous.  They arranged my five week trip through the five countries exactly to my specific requests, including going to way off the beaten track petroglyph and ancient ruin sites.  They accompanied me and my travel companion throughout Uzbekistan and arranged for local companies/guides and drivers in each of the other countries, but kept in touch with me throughout the entire trip to make sure everything was ok. 

In these countries there are so many different and, for most Westerners, bizarre bureaucratic formalities that I was very very glad to have Salomtravel make sure that all the paperwork was in order.  (Who would have thought to have stamped sheets of paper from every hotel in UZ so that the next one would accept you? & regardless of prior booking unless one could prove where one spent the previous night, there was no bed available in the inn....) We didn't have any of these problems, but folks we ran into at one of the hotels did. They had tried to do the trip on their own; unfortunately it was now going to cost them much more than it would have had they gone through an agent. & just fyi, my 5 week trip cost for two people cost less than I would have spent on one of the 3 week group tours from UK, Australia or American firms.

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melinda

RE: Central Asia "The Stans"

by melinda »

Wow, a very interesting perspective. I've never thought of visiting these places. Would love it if you'd come back on and say what you actually see in the "stans". Thanks!

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the caspar

RE: Central Asia "The Stans"

by the caspar »

A friend took an Intrprepid Tour of one of the "stans"--can't remember which--and it was both very interesting and quite affordable. Hopefully I'll be able to do this sort of truly adventurous travel one day soon. The problem is the cost of airfare to these out of the way places!

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kkrslc

RE: Central Asia "The Stans"

by kkrslc »

In Response to Re: Central Asia "The Stans":[QUOTE]

Wow, a very interesting perspective. I've never thought of visiting these places. Would love it if you'd come back on and say what you actually see in the "stans". Thanks!


Posted by Melinda[/QUOTE]


Hi,

My blog is at http://journals.worldnomads.com/krodin I have both stories and hundreds of photos at that site.  I hope they inspire you to go:)  (& use Salomtravel.ru as they were fabulous!)

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kkrslc

RE: Central Asia "The Stans"

by kkrslc »

In Response to Re: Central Asia "The Stans":[QUOTE]

A friend took an Intrprepid Tour of one of the "stans"--can't remember which--and it was both very interesting and quite affordable. Hopefully I'll be able to do this sort of truly adventurous travel one day soon. The problem is the cost of airfare to these out of the way places!


Posted by The Caspar [/QUOTE]


Hi,

The airfare is high, but it is sometimes easier to get a cheap flight to Istanbul & then the flight to Ashgabat is only about $350. (& that way you can stay in Istanbul for a couple of days:))

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RE: Central Asia "The Stans"

by ChinaDave2 »

My wife and I just retuned home from Turkmenistan and Uzbecistan.  They are suppose to be the two best of the Stans.  Turkmenistan is in the desert and much warmer but dry too.  The White city is something else to see.   It is like someone built a memorial city to themselves  (ie.current president)   They are famous for carpets of course but you need to have a certificate to be able to take them out of the country.  To show it isn't an antique.  Some carpet dealers do not have the certificates so you have to go to a central office and get one.  If you do not, they will take them away from you at the border.  We had two people in our group who just bought two small 1 foot square prayer rugs but they took those away from them anyway even though the law is that only rungs of one meter or larger need the certificate.  Uzbecistan the U.S. $ can be used.  There is an exzchange rate of about 2,500 of their local money to the U.S. $    I exchanged a $100 bill and got a stack of money 6 inches high.   I have a photo taken of me paying for an $18 lunch with 45,000 of the local money.   Lots of hand made Embroidery very reasonable in Uzbecistan and we brought back several pieces.

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